Don't let me be misunderstood Kanser rapper Zach "New MC" Combs and I just can't understand each other.
Questions and answers need to be repeated several times. When I ask whether Kanser, a Minneapolis duo, follow their Midwest rapper brethren in taking socio-political stances in their rhymes, New MC tells me about a recent show, in which they were performing a song about the war in Iraq.
"It just felt like listen, are you psycho?" he asks.
"Well, there's certainly a faction of that here, but probably not the kids who will come to your show," I say.
"Huh? I asked whether you guys recycle."
New MC goes on to explain that preaching in songs seems like recycling: It's a great idea, but sometimes you just don't feel like your individual effort changes anything. "You want to think that you're making a difference, but the machine you're going against is enormous," he says.
New MC and partner Unicus trade rapping duties, and their interplay onstage has made them a popular live act. Their self-titled CD includes plenty of head-bobbing beats, like the low-key "Peaces of the Puzzle" and "Silent Treatment." "Hear What I Say" is fun and full of braggadocio, set to a great backbeat and soul samples.
It's when "Look Love" comes around that the Midwestern-rap stereotype gives way. Delivered as a "Girl, you're a dirty ho" letter, the song, with lyrics telling the girl to "swallow my kids," comes off as confusingly misogynistic.
"It's about a girl, I guess. I don't have a cool, smart answer," New MC says. "Look, have you ever had a boy who made you angry?"
"Well, yeah," I say.
"Then it speaks for itself."
Except, not really.
-- Kara Luger
Support Broke Rappers Tour featuring Kanser, Unknown Prophets, Ancient Mith, Lucash, Sloppy Joe and Archetypes
The Black Sheep, 2106 E. Platte Ave.
Thursday, Jan. 26, 9 p.m.
Tickets: $8; check ticketweb.com or call 227-7625 for more.
This show at Stargazers with the Charlie Milo Trio will be broadcast live on local…
This is awesome! Excited about the new music and adventures for his year!
Thanks so much!!!